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Carmelo Anthony on departure from Knicks: 'Phil Jackson pushed me out'

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Carmelo Anthony‘s stint with the New York Knicks ended on a sour note, and the future Hall of Famer blames that entirely on former team president Phil Jackson.

“Bro, I don’t understand this s—. To this day, I really don’t understand it. There’s no explanation,” Anthony said on the latest episode of “The Why with Dwyane Wade.” “Listen, I’m gonna try to give you this in a quick summary. When I left New York, I didn’t leave New York. I got pushed out of New York, Phil [Jackson] pushed me out of New York. I struggled to leave New York.”

Jackson, who won a combined 11 NBA championships as head coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, was hired as New York’s president in 2014, a position he held through June 2017. One of Jackson’s first moves was re-signing Anthony to a five-year contract, which included a no-trade clause.

Following a 31-51 campaign in the 2016-17 NBA season that saw the Knicks miss the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season, Jackson expressed to the New York press that Anthony “would be better off somewhere else” given the franchise’s precarious standing.

While Jackson was fired just days after the 2017 NBA Draft, the Knicks continued to seek ways to trade Anthony, eventually sending him to the Oklahoma City Thunder just days before training camp opened for the 2017-18 NBA season.

“It took me back to [being] a kid. It took me back to s— always being taken away from you,” Anthony said about his relationship with Jackson. “I did work this hard to get to this point, and it’s just that easy you can just take it away from me with no explanation. … To this day, I don’t know what the explanation is. I can laugh about it now, but at that point in time, that s— was difficult to deal with because you [are] coming from All-Star to I can’t make a nine-man roster?”

Anthony spent the first seven-and-a-half seasons with the Denver Nuggets before being traded to the Knicks in the middle of the 2010-11 season. He spent the next six-and-a-half seasons with the Knicks, who made the playoffs in each of Anthony’s first three seasons with them, reaching the second round in 2013. 

After his lone season in Oklahoma City (2017-18), Anthony had stints with the Houston Rockets (2018-19), Portland Trail Blazers (2019-21) and Lakers (2021-22). He announced his retirement from the NBA in 2023.

Nick praises Carmelo Anthony after 19 fabulous NBA seasons

Anthony is seventh in Knicks history with 10,186 points and has the franchise record for points in a single game, as he scored 62 points against the Charlotte Bobcats on Jan. 24, 2014.

Anthony earned six All-NBA honors, was a 10-time All-Star and won the 2012-13 scoring title when he averaged 28.7 points per game.

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